University of Toledo head football coach Jason Candle watches his putt as LPGA pro Sarah Kemp looks on during the Buckeye Broadband Celebrity Pro-Am Wednesday. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
University of Toledo football coach Jason Candle took a break from preparing for this year’s football season, and got to spend an afternoon on the golf course as part of the Buckeye Broadband Celebrity Pro-Am on Wednesday at Highland Meadows.
“Anytime a football coach can play golf it’s a blessing,” Candle said. “This is a great event for our city and our area. A chance to come compete and be a part of a community organization and event, I’m happy to do it and honored to be a part of it.”
“I think if it was about a golf game, I don’t know if I’d be here,” Candle joked before teeing off. “This is a fun day and I’m certainly looking forward to it.”
Candle said it was important for him to take part in an event that supports the community in the way that the Marathon Classic does.
MARATHON CLASSIC: Everything you need to know for the LPGA tournament at BCSN.tv/MarathonClassic
“I think it’s very similar to our situation at Toledo,” Candle said. “It’s about community and it’s about people of our city. It’s about the people of Northwest Ohio and our communities going out and rallying around a good cause. Our players feel that and I’m sure these ladies will feel the hospitality this weekend that our players feel as well and understand what a great place Toledo is.”
KO HOPES TO PIECE TOGETHER THE PUZZLE: Lydia Ko returns to Highland Meadows as the defending champion and two-time winner of the Marathon Classic.
Despite a tour title drought dating back to last year’s Marathon Classic, she feels she is close to putting together all aspects of her game.
“I feel like the puzzle pieces are there, but I've been struggling to kind of put those pieces together,” Ko said. “Sometimes that is almost the hardest bit where you feel like those little pieces are there but to connect it and put them all into good rounds, I feel like there are a lot of positives going on, so I'm trying to stay patient. Obviously even though there are good things, there are always things you can work on, and I'm going to continue to practice hard and kind of maintain those things. But this is a busy stretch of events. I'm playing the Scottish and the British the next two weeks after this, too. You just have to be patient and confident, and every week is a new week.”
Despite carrying a world No. 4 ranking, Ko has yet to put together a complete performance to claim a tournament this year.
“The pieces are there, so just I've got to put it together,” Ko said. “I've had weeks where I've been really good at ball-striking but the putter wasn't there, and then sometimes the putter is there but the ball-striking isn't as good. It's just to be able to get the balance and put those rounds together, and then the more that — the many more times that I put myself in position and put myself in contention or shoot under par, those are the confidence boosters. I'm just trying to do that, and basically I've got my team supporting me and helping me to get myself to play consistently and go out there with confidence.”
Ko’s victory last year at Highland Meadows came on a four-hole playoff after she tied with Ariya Juntanugarn and Mirim Lee after 72 holes.
CELEBRITY PRO-AM PRIZE WINNERS: The team of Brian Sedra, Rick Niehaus, Chuck Woodmancy, Dan Galway, and pro Nelly Korda recorded the low gross score of 55, the top mark in the morning wave of Wednesday’s Buckeye Broadband Celebrity Pro-Am.
The morning’s low net score went to the team of Kris Boerner, Marc Layne, Matt Ogden, Travis Vollmar, and pro Meghan Khang with a score of 48.31. The team of Jordan Strack, Dan Cummins, Ryan Wichman, Chris Vickers, and pro Hyo Joo Kim were second with a low net score of 49.31. Third place went to the team of John Zanini, Bobby Holcomb, Brad Stirling, Brad Whiting and pro Lexi Thompson with a low net score of 49.40.
In the afternoon wave, the low gross winner was the team of John Swigert, Scott Libbe, Doug Peterson, Justin Black and pro Emily Pedersen with a score of 53.
The afternoon low net score went to the team of Michael Stull, Bart Nenadovich, Abed Helo, Mike Kimmel, and pro Rachel Rohanna with a score of 50.54. Second place went to the team of Geoff Shook, Brad Mefferd, Corrina Ruttkar, Jason Hansen, and pro Alena Sharp with a score of 51.29. Third place went to the team of Bruce Holzberg, George McAfee, Chad Feasel, Brandon Duckett, and pro Angela Stanford with a score of 51.63.